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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Gary B. Southerland appeals from a final judgment in favor of Amy L. Wright. The trial court signed the judgment on Nov. 23, 2005, and Southerland moved for new trial on Dec. 22, 2005. Because of this, his notice of appeal was due on or before Feb. 21, 2006. It was not filed until March 9, 2006, however. No one disputes that the notice was filed after both the 90 days allotted by Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1 and the additional 15-day window allowed by Rule 26.3. To avoid dismissal, Southerland posits that a letter he sent to the trial court on Jan. 19, 2006, concerning Southerland’s pending motion for new trial and the possibility of remittittur, constituted a sufficient notice of appeal. In the letter, Southerland stated, among other things, that 1. “Mr. Scarborough will not accept it [a remittittur] and there will be a new trial without the necessity of a costly appeal,” 2. “[i]n either event it doesn’t look like a remittittur will be a way to resolve and end the litigation, but it will get a new trial without the cost of an appeal,” 3. “[i]n either event the appeals court will be able to see in the record what the Trial Judge thinks the case is really worth,” 4. “[i]f you don’t grant the Motion for New Trial or sign the remittittur order then my client will appeal and I estimate that will cost him over $10,000 because, as I mentioned I don’t do appeals,” and 5. “[w]e will await your rulings on the New Trial and the Remittittur to file our formal notice of appeal, believing that by one means or the other, that won’t be necessary.” HOLDING:Dismissed for want of jurisdiction. A notice of appeal is a prerequisite to vesting the appellate court with jurisdiction to review the trial court’s judgment. Although a document purporting to be a notice may fail to satisfy all the elements of a proper notice put forth in Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 25.1(d), it may nonetheless be enough. The instrument must depict a bona fide attempt to invoke an appellate court’s jurisdiction. The letter was an effort to sway the trial court to grant a new trial rather than perfect an appeal. “Simply put, Southerland used the January 19th letter to threaten appeal as a means of securing relief from the trial court. The document was a trial tactic made to avoid appeal, not a bona fide attempt to invoke our jurisdiction. And, while some argue to construe the rules of appellate procedure in a way that effectively nullifies their purpose, we lack the authority to rewrite jurisdictional requirements imposed by others.” OPINION:Quinn, C.J.; Quinn, C.J., and Reavis and Hancock, J.J.

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